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Book and Media Reviews
July 2, 2008

Global Perspectives on Health Promotion Effectiveness

JAMA. 2008;300(1):101. doi:10.1001/jama.300.1.101

Within the fields of public health and health promotion, increasing demands exist for evidence-based practices. This edited volume, a product of the Global Programme on Health Promotion Effectiveness, raises important questions about “what counts as evidence and who gets to decide.” It presents important challenges to dominant biomedical approaches assessing evidence and effectiveness within health promotion, highlighting the Western biases that often drive notions of evidence and approaches to evaluation as well as calling for a broader conceptualization of evidence that will accommodate the socioecological perspective driving most health promotion programs. It offers an introduction to the key debates and challenges involved in the evaluation of health promotion programs, as well as some useful strategies for measuring their impact. Case studies of health promotion activities illustrate general practices and challenges within health promotion but also serve as useful reviews of effective strategies for those committed to the specific health promotion topics discussed. The volume also highlights important gaps in the field and lays out a clear agenda for future research.